I hope your summer is off to a good start, and that you're getting plenty of time to enjoy some good games!
Speaking of games, we've been busy shipping some new ones to you since our last update. As you can see from the left column box images, the Next War Supplement #1, Time of Crisis, and the GMT version of 1960: The Making of the President have all either shipped or are on their way to your doorstep now. I hope that they bring you many hours of gaming enjoyment.
Before I move on to the Digital Update, I want to spend a minute on Fort Sumter, Mark Herman's newest design, and the first game in our brand new quick-playing Final Crisis series. It's new to our P500 list today. I'm massively excited about both this game and the potential for this series to provide great strategy game entertainment to both traditional CDG players and those who've never played a card-driven game.
In Fort Sumter, Mark Herman has honed and streamlined the CDG experience to fit into a 25-40 minute play window! When I first saw the game, I thought "Lunchtime game!" And it definitely is. Your first play of Fort Sumter
take 40 minutes (Rachel and Luke's first game took 30 minutes exactly), but you'll be in the 25-30 minute range within your first few games, unless you have extreme Analysis Paralysis.
I believe this is also one of those games that is going to be very friendly to and popular with non-wargamers. At its heart, Fort Sumter is an area-control influence-placement strategy game in an historical setting. Virtually anyone who likes short-duration strategy games is going to be inclined to like it. And as a family game, both the short playing time and the light strategy game aspect of it are really family-friendly. So if you're looking for a game to enjoy with your husband or wife or son or daughter or sibling, and they enjoy light strategy games, I think you're going to find that Fort Sumter is a great addition to your family game library!
As a "family test" for the game, I introduced the game after lunch today to my 20-something daughter and son, Rachel and Luke, who are both gamers but not heavily into wargames. They played four games, splitting the wins at two each. They averaged about 25 minutes per game for the first three games, and finished their fourth game (a mutually agreed upon "speed game") in 15 minutes! My son's comment after game 1 (which he lost, while still figuring out the rules): "I hate this game." After two games, it was "I want to keep playing." After the fourth game, where Rachel bested him for the second time, Luke's comment was "I love this game! This would be a perfect game to play in tournaments with my friends." And they're currently playing game 5 of the afternoon, so I think it's fair to say that this game has some addictive properties. :-)
To check out the game or to order, click here: Fort Sumter P500 page. I hope you like what you see there, both regarding this game, and also about future topics that Mark plans to bring us in the Final Crisis series.
Commands & Colors Ancients Digital Update
Here's an update note and some alpha stage development images from our friends at HexWar. Enjoy!
Early challenges for Commands & Colors: Ancients included creating the right "feel" for close combat, laying out the units clearly, and communicating the various game actions correctly.
This Commands & Colors game features a simple card set, but more in depth set of rules for close combat. Rules like "leader escape" and "battle back" are now implemented. The game has really started to develop the feel of playing the board game.
We took on player feedback and made information like unit stats and behaviours easily accessible in mouseover tooltips that update based on the situation. Communicating such vital information in a clear way makes gameplay smooth and easy to pick up - you will spend less time reading the manual, and more time playing the game! It also makes development easier, as we can see at a glance that combat is getting resolved according to the board game rules.
Just recently we implemented elephants and the special "elephant rampage" rules. Once the artwork is slotted into place this unit should really bring the Punic Wars to life.
There is plenty more to work on: the AI opponent, adding terrain, and multiplayer features are still to come, so stay tuned!
Thunder Alley Crew Chief Expansion
We are now carrying in our warehouse stock new copies of the Thunder Alley Crew Chief (boxed) Expansion (designed by Richard Launius) from our friends at Nothing Now Games. These expand the possibilities and detail of your Thunder Alley experience, and include 236 new cards! The expansions are in the warehouse and ready for sale now. The price is $18 + shipping (2 lbs). Just click the link below for details on the Expansion and to order:
New Solitaire Versions For Several Upcoming Games
Last month, I let you guys know that the development teams for both
Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea
have create full-blown solitaire systems for those games. The feedback has been great for both games, and P500 orders have risen significantly for each in the past month. We're really happy that you like these additions.
So I'm thinking you guys are going to be very pleased to learn that two more of our designers have created solitaire systems for their games: Doug Bush for
and Jim Krohn for
New in the Warehouse or Back in Stock
Here are a few items that are either new or back in stock in our warehouse. Most are available in limited quantities, so get yours soon!
Enhanced Lamination for Talon Countersheets
Both the Talon Reprint Edition and Talon 1000 will feature improved lamination on the counters. Basically, we've found a better way to handle the lamination on the counters, using the process that we use for our box covers.
As we began to share this information online, numerous players expressed an interest in getting updated counter sheets without repurchasing the entire game. So we have decided to make a set of Talon countersheets (all 3) available via P500, with some lead time before we print them so we can get an idea of how many extra sets to print. We'll print them along with the Talon 1000 game (currently scheduled for early 2018).
The price is $15 for a set of the three counter sheets, or $9 via this P500 offering. Also, if you order the counters to ship along with your copy of Talon 1000, there'll be no shipping charge for the countersheets.
If you'd like to order these enhanced countersheets, here's the link to the P500 order page:
A Peek at the Proof Rules for Wild Blue Yonder
Fire in the Lake and Victory's Vietnam
Fire in the Lake is my personal favorite of our COIN series games to date. I'm also a huge fan of Victory Games' Vietnam design (yay Nick Karp!). So I enjoyed very much Mark Evan's recent side-by-side review of the games on BGG. I thought you guys might enjoy it as well. Here's the link:
This Month in InsideGMT!
Here are links to this month's new InsideGMT articles:
And, in case you missed them, here are links to our previous month's InsideGMT articles:
As always, I invite you guys to head over to
check out the articles, leave us your comments, and tell us what else you'd like to see us do to make
GMT Weekend at the Warehouse October 5-8, 2017
Come join us at the Fall, 2017 GMT Weekend at the Warehouse!
For those new to the event, this is mostly an open gaming event, although we do hav
e tournaments from time to time. We expect about 100 gamers to attend, and space is limited, so please get your reservation in to the office ladies (call, chat, or email) as soon as possible.
There are several hotels within a few miles of our offices. The closest one, The Sequoia Inn
, blocks rooms for our attendees at special rates. The hotels reservation # is 559-582-0339. Tell them you want the "GMT Group Block"
rate. They have already blocked rooms for us for Oct
ober, so feel free to go ahead and make reservations whenever you are ready.
Keep up with GMT O
Virtually every day, we announce new information or show off upcoming products or give you a peek under the hood of our new designs in our various online sites and forums. For you guys looking to keep up with us online, here's where you can find us. Drop in and start a conversation!
That's it for the news bytes from me for this time.
Here's what you'll find in the rest of today's update:
- Charge and Shipping Update
- Production Outlook
- Project Updates and Sample Art
- P500 Reprint Update
- Website File Additions
Thanks, as always, for your support of GMT Games!
Enjoy the games!
Charging and Shipping Schedule
The next item to ship will be Colonial Twilight , starting July 3. The rest of the "July games" (see Tentative Production Schedule, below) should begin shipping in the July 15-25 timeframe.
To avoid any delays in your game shipment, please make sure you've updated your charge cards on our website before we charge. If you use the "Pay by Check" P500 option, please send your checks in by the above dates. Thanks!
We have one new P500 addition this month, and I think you're going to like it! Finally, GMT is going to have an historical strategy game that plays quickly enough to be a "lunchtime game!" And, for all of you who enjoy games like
Twilight Struggle, Washington's War, For the People
Paths of Glory
, it's a Card-Driven-Game. Oh, and it's designed by Mark Herman, the guy who invented the CDG genre! Interested yet? I hope so, because this game is challenging and strategic and really fun, and you can easily finish a full game in around half an hour! We invite you to check out (and, we hope, order!) Mark's Herman's newest creation:
Recent P500 Additions:
Project Updates and Sample Art
In this section, we'll be passing along updated status on a variety of projects, generally direct from the designers or developers.
And here's a peek at all the
BAOR & FRG Update
Final map art is in the works. The box cover art for both expansions is also in development. The playtest modules for FRG and BAOR are currently in development. Keep an eye out on the CSW and BGG MBT pages for a call-to-arms for all those interested in playtesting. Like MBT, it is going to be a fun time.
Panzer Expansion 4: France 1940 Update
The Panzer solitaire system is in final development. It should be a fine addition to the series. Once all aspects are in hand, the VASSAL playtest module can be completed for playtesting.
Last month when I updated you guys, we were prepping to take the updated and streamlined game to Tempe, in hopes that we could at least test the major system integrations. Well, we actually got to play (pretty much) the full game for three days of the Consimworld Expo! I had to "fudge" some of the War stuff, as that was still in flux, and I was updating charts and rules and SoPs throughout the testing, but it worked - and it all hung together pretty well.
One of the things that had bothered me in the previous version was that the Intel actions tended to predominate, as there are so many terror groups to find and fix. There just wasn't room or time for a lot else. And I didn't want to arbitrarily add more Defense actions to compensate, as that would lengthen playing time and also be an inelegant fix. So, with some help from my long-time friend and military intelligence professional Tom Switajewski, I came up with another decision-point and mechanic for a "Focused National Intel" capability in the game.
The way it works is, depending on what your Strategic Intel abilities are at the time, you get either one or two Focused National Intel markers at the start of each round. You place the marker(s) in one of the eight regions on the board. This represents you focusing your intel gathering platforms and processes in that (those) area(s). Twice during the round, before you choose your Military actions, you get to make a roll on the Focused National Intel Table to see what your intel efforts in that region have yielded. Results find terror groups and help the US in bombing campaigns or full-blown wars. This is working REALLY well right now. It's quick and easy, and has taken away much of the game burden of making repeated local intel attempts (you can still do that, you just don't feel like you have to all the time). So, hats off to Tom and his input. This has definitely made the game better.
I've also added auto-victory conditions for Russia and China. Naturally, these are auto losses for the player. Mostly they involve territorial expansion goals for each, although in Russia's case, destabilization/weakening of the EU and NATO also play a part. I think it's highly likely that players will curse me for these, but so far I really like them. Having to keep an eye on where they are expanding and trying to make sure that doesn't get out of control, in addition to keeping an eye on my objectives and my legacy in the game, makes the game more challenging, interesting, and, in my book, truer to the real-life challenge POTUS faces.
I've been able to work on the game quite a bit since the Expo, including playtests every Friday. I feel like the foreign policy and "world generator" part of the game are working real well, so the testing in those areas is mostly for balance and to make sure wild card combos don't break anything. The domestic side still needs work. The new streamlined Congress and bill passage process are working very well, but the personality interaction that I want to see in the game just doesn't feel quite right yet. So I'm focusing on that part - and the domestic side of the game in general - this
That's all for now.
Here's a quick Red Storm update. I've got a great test team together with a lot of EV vets and some serious "airplane junkies" that have helped me work the ADCs and OOBs.
My main focus right now is the solo rules/scenarios.
What I've created is a "two level" solo system.
1. "Limited Solo" just removes the fog-of-war mechanics from the game, and the player plays both sides based on "what makes sense" rule. The limited solo rules are also a way for 2 players to save time and simplify the game as well. The limited solo rules shouldn't require special scenarios.
2. "Full Solo" rules require use of a bot for controlling flights and generating/firing SAMs and AAA. I'm doing separate scenarios for using the full solo rules. As of now, the only potential addition to the game would be one additional player aid card.
The final item to note is that I've written an InsideGMT article that looks at the mix of scenarios in Red Storm. Here's the link:
Here's more detail on the Solitaire AI for Talon 1000:
The solitaire system AI is based on a specific AI empire - meaning that you can play Terran against the AI and Talon against the AI, but not Terran versus Talon (with AI). I think it is only a matter of time before the AI gets adapted for Terran vs Talon (the bones are all there), but the reason why I went with a new faction for the AI was to simplify its implementation.
I'm very cognizant that solo players want to spend as much time as possible on their ships and as little time as possible managing the AI. I was able to design the AI ships so that they are different and interesting, but have fewer decisions.
How did I do that? We will soon be starting the Talon Tuesdays up again in InsideGMT, and I will explain everything.
Basically, Talon 1000 is named that way because it contains 1000+ scenarios of Talon vs Terran. From a solitaire stand point, it will include 1000+ Talon vs AI random scenarios and 1000+ of Terran vs AI random scenarios. Almost everything from the base game will be available in SOME FORM. For example - You won't be able to attack an AI base, but the AI will be able to attack yours. You won't be able to play scenario 3 (a Terran vs Talon scenario), but you will be able to roll up random engagements that are similar, etc.
More upcoming in InsideGMT!
Call for Playtesters!
My name is Mike Denson, and I am the designer of The Last Hundred Yards, a tactical WW2 board game from GMT Games that has made the cut and is currently in final development. We are moving now to the final testing and development stage, which puts us roughly 3-6 months away from turning the game over to Mark Simonitch for the final artwork and production. The variable timing rests on how efficiently we can accomplish final scenario testing, for which we need both more testers to give us broader feedback and "new eyes" to help us correct errors that we're missing because we've been looking at the game for too long.
So, this is a call for play testers to play the Missions on Vassal or face to face and provide feedback. In terms of commitment needed, our current testing schedule has us testing one scenario every two weeks. We're asking you to play the scenario assigned at least once during the two-week period, and report back with game experience, play balance, and errata feedback.
If you'd like to join us as we move this fun, innovative, and exciting game to the production finish line, please contact me at email@example.com.
Thanks in advance for your consideration and your assistance!
P500 Reprint News and Tracking
Here's the current status of all the games on our P500 reprint list. Please help us determine what to print by pre-ordering any of these that interest you. Thanks for your help!
Here's the current P500 Reprint list - with current order totals and a +/- order growth since last month:
Talon: - 269 Orders (+20)
New Game Support Files, Vassal/Cyberboard, and Sneak Peeks
Here are new support files we've added to our website since our last update. Enjoy!
Your Friends at GMT Games
Toll Free Order and Support Line: 800-523-6111